Tomorrow I am going to join a gym, and then, when next we meet on the beach or the boulevard, I’ll beat you up. WITH MY ABS. I think I’m taking a positive step here; if I can maintain the discipline to go on a regular basis, it’ll add further structure to my life, helping me achieve my long-term goal of having almost every day rigidly planned out with a set series of activities far, far in advance. As it stands, I have the following “must-do” checkpoints during each weekday: wake up, go to the coffee shop, go to work, read certain political blogs at certain points in the day, have my 2:30pm coffee, walk up and down the fire escape (33 flights) for exercise at the end of work, go home, review a 7”, follow baseball, do my sit-ups and push-ups, go to bed. I can certainly insert a daily visit to the gym between the office and my record listening, and that’ll happily keep me out of trouble during those tricky late-evening hours. And make me STRONG. So I can kick the ass of crappy records like the one I’m playing at this very moment. This is pure ’80s synthpop, chilly and wimpy, with mannered Morrissey-style vocals crooning along atop the drum machines and frosty keys. I never cared for stuff like this; it always came off overwrought and anti-fun, and Chapter 13 offends doubly in that the group is doing what amounts to an impression of that already hollow sound. It’s a good impression, yes, but the melodies – which could have won me over and made the record worthwhile – are ultimately unremarkable, and, annoyingly, it’s never quite possible to get past that initial reaction of, “Hey, this sounds just like…” So yeah. Pass. “Crisco Disco” is as predictable as the deadening, routinized life I envision for myself, but somehow even less interesting. With my future brawn I give it the ol’ heave-ho.